Greece is a top summer destination not only because of its idyllic beaches, but also because of its incredible history and colourful traditions. But travellers, especially with children, are advised to be mindful of the intense heat, as temperatures can rise to dangerous levels of up to 40C (104F).
Every year, there are many heat waves during the summer. When they occur, everyone have to stay in cool places and even archaeological sites are closed during the day.
Nevertheless, Greece is a year-round destination and it has many offerings for off-peak travellers. In spring, you can see the country’s flowers in full bloom, such as the yellow-horned poppies and buttercup flowers of Crete, or the beautiful wildflowers of the Peloponnese. Easter in Greece is also a must-see as it is the biggest orthodox celebration with outstanding traditions. Autumn, on the other hand, is when the grape or olive harvest begins. Tourists can partake in wine celebrations and tasting ceremonies and picking olives to make fresh oil.
Visiting Greece in the winter is a different experience altogether, as we’ve noted in our post Top Destinations for Family Winter Vacations in Greece. The temperatures during this season range from 10C to 14C. There are interesting winter walks both in the mainland and the islands where you can stop by ancient sites and picturesque villages. You can also go to ski facilities and mountain hotels which are perfect for a family holiday.
If you do plan on visiting in the summer, however, plan your schedule to avoid the hottest parts of the day. You can refer to our post Cool Tips for Visiting Athens City During the Hot Summer, especially if you are bringing kids along. Many people react differently to scorching heat, and when it gets too hot, difficulties in all sorts of activities appear, not to mention the health risks involved.
Even as the day ends, your time to recharge for the next day’s adventure may be affected. It goes without saying that to fully enjoy your vacation, it’s important to get enough sleep after a day of travelling. With that in mind, here are several tips to help you rest better at the end of each day during your summer vacation in Greece.
1. Take a cool shower before bedtime
A long summer day calls for a relaxing evening shower. This is the quickest way to cool down as it helps lower the body temperature. What many people fail to consider, however, is that you should avoid turning the shower knob too much towards the cold setting. Water that’s too cold stimulates the skin, keeping you awake for longer than necessary.
2. Dress sensibly
Fabrics that breathe easily are the best options for summer. Limpeh suggests doing a simple test by holding up your clothes against a window during daylight. If you can see details of the outdoors through the fabric, it is ideal for hot weather. This also applies to bedtime wear. Sleeping naked may be tempting, but it is advisable to go for light cotton clothes, as they will absorb the sweat while you sleep.
3. Invite fresh air inside
You can go for air-conditioned rooms to sleep comfortably, but there’s another secret to a good sleep: breathing fresh air. Every Greek knows that you can leave some windows open to let the air circulate during the night but only open it in the late afternoon or all the heat will enter.
Leesa mentioned that some people practice leaving the window open at night. Germans, in particular, even hang blankets on windows during the day due to their belief that the fabrics absorb the outdoor smell, leaving them with clean air during bedtime. Opting for a more natural setting is not a bad habit to mimic, seeing as the Mediterranean gives a fresh, calming sea breeze, especially at night. If you’re staying in a hotel or resort located by the coastline, the cool and gentle wind as well as the lulling sound of the waves can help you sleep better.
4. Sleep in separate beds.
Staying away from your partner’s body heat is the best option when it’s a very hot night. To avoid this problem, make sure that the room you book has large or multiple beds.
Do you have other tips for beating the summer heat in Greece?